What's New


The second round of UK RAIN group meetings took place during January and February. In the UK we have chosen to develop our RAIN meetings as three sub-groups focussing on livestock, arable (combinable crops) and vegetable cropping systems with RAIN members choosing to join as many of these event as they wish depending on their preference and the subjects addressed. In total 92 people attended the events, an excellent turn out despite the chilly weather!


Rosa Mosquera, coordinator of AFINET, presented the talk  "Agroforestry and silvopastoral systems in Europe: Afforestation, Reforestation and Agroforestry" in the International Conference "Working across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area from aspiration to action" held in the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, on 20-22 February.


To promote this practice in Finland, it would be very important to provide more information to schoolchildren, students, farmers and the general public. The participants also discussed political challenges. 


A total of 28 stakeholders attended the 2nd RAIN meeting, more than 1/3 of them being practitioners (farmers/foresters).


The second RAIN meeting of the AFINET project was held on 18 January 2018 at the Institute of Agro-Environmental and Forest Biology (IBAF) of the National Research Council (CNR), Porano (TR).


Spanish RAIN met together for the second time on January 16th. The meeting was held in Touro (A Coruña, Galicia, NW Spain) and was attended by around 45 agroforestry actors as practitioners, policy makers, researchers and producer’s associations.


After several weeks of intense dissemination of the 2nd PT RAIN meeting, a total of 36 RAIN members attended the 2nd Portuguese meeting, that took place on the 30th of January, at Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) in Lisbon.


Around 60 people attended the meeting, which included a visit to a burned cork tree stand área (on the summer of 2017).


During this gathering, partners and Innovation Brokers discussed relevant subjects concerning the development of the project and participated in four workshop sessions focusing in the most relevant bottlenecks and challenges regarding agroforestry that arose amongst nine involved regions to decide the best ways to approach them.


The day started with presentations covering the influence of trees on animal behaviour, the practicalities and economics of combining grazing animals with trees and grants and support available. Andrew then led us on a farm walk including a visit to his new wood pasture planting designed for stock grazing and shelter throughout the season.


The day centred around Tolly’s recently planted agroforestry system which has been integrated into his organic vegetable production system. Established in 2015, six single tree rows, a mixture of trees for fruit, timber and coppice products, have been planted with 20m wide cropping alleys in between. 


With a  group of fifty interested farmers and researchers, we visited Martin Crawford (Agroforestry Research Trust), Martyn Bragg (Shillingford Organics), Duchy Home Farm, and Iain Tolhurst (Tolhurst Organic).


The aim of the meeting was to identify major problems of wooded rural landscapes in this part of Europe, particularly it was focused on wooded pastures in the Carpathian region.


Alongside researchers and practicioners, within the group there were advisors, Rural Development technicians, representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, and member of the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre.


The stakeholders were invited to form three groups and discuss, by the participatory approach, of a specific issue related to the olive oil chain: climate and environment, socio-economy and policy. Each group of participants moved from a table to another in order to take part to any discussion.


30 RAIN members attended the meeting, which started with the presentation of the project, objectives and RAIN concept. During the meeting the participants were asked to identify bottlenecks/knowledge gaps and challenges/innovations from agroforestry systems covering silvopastoral, silvoarable and tree hedgerows systems. 


The meeting started with a walk around the farm where the people could see how the farm works, witness sheep herding with a sheep dog in practice, and share experiences about farm management, agroforestry and management of wood pastures.


The event was attended by nearly 30 participants, almost half of them practitioners. Within the group there were farmers, advisors, Rural Development technicians, members of the Galician Office of Climate Change, and the Galician Innovation Agency.


On the 22nd of July, a report on agroforestry was broadcasted on the Belgian national radio channel ‘Radio 1’. Furthermore, the same day an article on agroforestry was published at the news website www.deredactie.be


The meeting started with a visit to an experimental agroforestry field at ILVO, where a variety trial of hazelnut trees was recently established, and where the effects are studied of combining short-rotation coppice (willow) or hazelnut trees with laying hens on free-range use, animal welfare, soil conditions and plant growth.